Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oblivious and loving it.

Strava just makes me shake my head in wonder.  Map My Ride?  Seriously, who really wants to know all the details of your ride though town or how fast you got up the local hill compared  to whoever?

I am not sure how it all  started, this fascination with KOMs and stats and PBRs, etc.  I want to blame the triathletes.  How can you trust someone that never wears sleeves on their jerseys?  It is mostly two wheeled navel gazing if you ask me, perhaps a natural outgrowth of our fascination with all things relating to ourselves.  "Enough of me talking about me...tell me what YOU think about me!", etc.

I actually have, at one time or another, used a heart rate monitor, bike computer, and a GPS.  I have long since forgotten about HRMs...I figure that at this age, if my heart is still beating then that is good enough for me because one day it will cease to do so.  I do not need a HRM to tell me when that happens.  Bike computers can be handy, especially on road bikes if you are doing organized centuries, etc.  Less so on a mountain bike.  Carry your bike or push it for a while and see what that does for your computer's accuracy.  Now GPS, that is handy.  That is a great tool, although you can rely on it too much, but it can keep you on a predetermined course even in the dark, etc.

I guess that some of my disinterest in all this micro-managing of my ride experiences is due to the fact that I have no use for a real training plan and I have no illusions of podium appearances anywhere.  Could care less.  I just want to ride my bike.  And if I am slow at it, I will ride more, ride harder, ride less to rest, or just enjoy the day anyway despite my speed or lack thereof.

So if you are a contender or a serious, serious competitor, I get it.  But that is so few and far between, this whole game of stats and numbers seems to be just another phase of this generation's addiction to information.  Gimme' more info, give it to me faster, etc, like somehow that brings meaning to the experience.  I think it just brings increased anxiety, if the truth be known, and we as a society have enough of that already, along with a decreased ability to separate the truly important from the merely transient.

So when I do a new route, I typically figure it out in hours.  And from then on, Route A is a 3 hour ride, Route B is a 5 hour ride, etc, based on my average pace.  I will grab the GPS every so often and run the miles the first time I ride something new, but even then that is rare.  Usually I know how long something is in miles from someone else telling me.  Cool enough.

But the biggest reason that I care little for how many gigawatts I generated or my average endorphin level over the .5 Miles of Hell KOM route or my heart rate adjusted for altitude and bran muffins over the last 24 hours is that none of that enriches my basic experience of just riding a bike across the surface of the earth.

And that is something that I never tire of doing, and while it may not be my reason for is not, by the is a wonderful, hard, freeing, sweaty, adventurous, child-like pursuit of the horizon and what it promises.

Not a Strava run.
Image courtesy of gnat.

Friday, November 16, 2012

One Trick Pony

New filly in the barn soon.  Let the build-up begin.

Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon 29 SS

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making Ed Wait

I went for a little stroll through the country with Ed the Tall on Sat.  Our path of choice was the Bouquet Ramble, a ride that always serves me a dish of pain-cakes.  It climbs a significant distance, both in elevation and in mileage, so you would expect it to be kinda' hard, but there is something about this one that just hurts me.

So it was a familiar site to see Ed riding away from me as the trail turned up and up.  He is a decent fellow though, and always waits at the top for old billy goats like me, hence the blog entry title.  The temps have begin to drop in our little piece of paradise and overnights have been getting into the 30s.  It was a sunny day for the most part, maybe into the low 60s, but the wind was coming up and it looked like we were going to be riding right into the teeth of it.

We were both on our Cambers, so we had good trail bikes under us.  This route takes us through an OHV area and runs along some moto trails so rocks and whoops are de rigueur.  We were up onto the high ridge line after climbing for a couple of hours and the winds were fierce.  They have recorded 100mph winds up here and it was a cold blow too.  Brrrrr.

So, to buffer that a bit, we opted to stay on the shielded side and ride a moto trail that we normally ride from the other end.  This would mean some hike-a-bike and we knew that going in, but it seemed like a decent compromise.  It was a good choice, but it was taxing too.  When your handlebars are higher than your head, you know you are pushing up a steep trail.

A long, long single track drop and we were back to civilization but we were aware that the sun was dropping fast.  The wind and the pushing had slowed our progress bit, so we opted to bypass the snack stop at the country store and head for the cars, still an hour and some climbing away.

And there was that wind still.  It was stronger now and getting cold, likely into the low 50s, high 40s.  Once we lost the sun, it would drop fast.  Time to go.  I had been battling a leg cramp for a while, but now it gave in and I was able to push hard again.  I almost was keeping up with Ed, but I backed off a bit just so he could wait for me at the last saddle.  I know how much he likes that.  Hah!

Today the winds are even stronger than on Saturday.  It is cold and nasty if you are on top of any rise in the terrain and facing north.  I called Ed and suggested we go ride.  After all, he has not waited for anyone all day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tour De Diligence: Images 5

Gnat.  The trip master.

I still have a lot to learn about cameras, composition and digital processing.  I love having things to learn about.  Keeps things fresh and new.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tour De Diligence: Images 3

There's a hole in the ol' oaken bucket...

More post processing tinkering.  Should I have corrected the tilt in the water tank...adjusted skew?  Hmmm...I decided not to but maybe I should have.

Friday, November 2, 2012